Advanced ENT Training - A guide to passing the FRCS (ORL-HNS) examination is a book that really understands its readers. Trainees preparing for their exams are led through common viva topics in an engaging question-and-answer format. The book covers all four subspecialties and is a useful and up-to-date revision tool for any exam candidate.
The book begins with reflections and advice from a recent examinee. Particularly useful is a timeline of what to expect and how to organise your time in the months and weeks leading up to Part 1. The rest of the book focuses on Part 2, starting with general advice before covering histories and examinations. With the readership in mind, the book acknowledges that histories and examination techniques are covered extensively in other books which have probably been well read and studied for the DOHNS examinations. Instead, the authors thoughtfully dedicate a section to examining the ‘Dizzy Patient’ which is both thorough and well explained.
The subspeciality chapters simulate viva topics by asking questions and giving examples of succinct answers that would be expected of an exam candidate. This is a useful gauge for the reader who is starting out practising their viva technique. Salient points are highlighted with checkboxes, and questions are often accompanied by clinical photos, scans or audiograms. Overall, each viva topic presented covers a lot of information but is not overwhelming given the scope of the exam syllabus.
This book should not be used alone for revision and neither does it masquerade as a comprehensive text. It often suggests papers for further reading and points the reader in the direction of need-to-know guidelines. By following these suggestions, I found that they act like mini exercises, breaking up the revision process.
A book well worth the investment; the pages of my copy are certainly well thumbed, and the margins are now riddled with scrawled notes. As the exam grew nearer, I was heavily reliant on this book for quick reference and, together with the familiar Pasha, they made portable revision staples. If the information is kept current, I expect the title of this book will be highly recommended to exam candidates year on year.